Censorpedia: An Interactive Database of Censorship Incidents

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Mobil Warming FL with slogan.jpeg

Artist: Jay Critchley

Year: 2016

Date of Action: October-November 2016

Region: North America

Location: Florida

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Design, Mixed Media, Performance Art

Confronting Bodies:

Description of Artwork: Multimedia artist and environmental activist Jay Critchley placed the Florida State Seal inside the "o" in the Mobil Oil logo for his project “Mobil Warming” that challenges Governor Rick Scott's denial of global warming. The Mobil Warming graphic is posted on Critchley’s website. Critchley has used the Mobil Warming logo in other projects in the past, including “Miami Beige.”

The Incident: Critchley received a "cease and desist" letter from the State of Florida stating that he may not use the state logo without permission and before express prior written approval. The artist contacted NCAC, which put him in touch with a Florida lawyer, and he has challenged the state’s demand.

Results of Incident: "Upon the recommendation of the National Coalition Against Censorship, Critchley got his own lawyer, Lawrence Walters, of the Walters Law Group of Florida. Walters said he took the case pro bono.

"Walters wrote to Adam Tanenbaum, general counsel for the Florida Department of State, on Nov. 3 stating that Critchley's use of the seal is freedom of speech protected under the First Amendment.

"Walters cited several cases in the letter, including Texas v. Johnson, the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court finding that burning the flag was protected by the First Amendment.

"'Laws which impose an unconstitutional permitting scheme, such as those at issue here, may be disregarded with impunity,' Walters wrote.

"He said he has not heard back from Tanenbaum." Via: Artwork sparks free speech debate, Cape Cod Times, Dec 9, 2016


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Artwork sparks free speech debate, Dec 9, 2016

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What is Censorpedia?

Censorpedia is a crowdsourced online database of censorship cases within the arts and in culture. It is aimed at those researching censorship, at activists working for freedom of expression and at artists and other cultural producers whose expression has been subject to censorship or attempted censorship.

Censorpedia documents censorship incidents by providing the who, what, when, where and why. By providing a repository of information about what is vulnerable to censorship and about the strategies and tactics that have defeated previous’ censorship attempts, Censorpedia aids the fight for free expression.

Researchers can search for a specific case, year or keyword using the search box, as well as browse by medium, by grounds for censorship, or explore a random case.

Activists can search for ongoing cases or contribute a case that is ongoing or recently resolved.

Artists and cultural producers are similarly invited to add cases they are directly involved with or are familiar with first hand.

Censorpedia builds on the landmark 1994 art project The File Room, initiated by Muntadas.

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